Scott Plotkin, executive director of the California School Boards Association, will retire from his post Sept. 1, following disclosures that he used his company-issued credit card to get about $11,000 in cash at area casinos.
CSBA President Frank Pugh, in a written statement following a CSBA board meeting on Friday, announced Plotkin’s departure. The CSBA represents some 1,000 school districts and county education offices statewide, financed through some $5 million in assessments.
“We’re taking all this very seriously. The CSBA board is committed to transparency and recognizes that tighter controls need to be implemented,” Pugh said. “To that end, we will retain an independent firm to conduct a review of CSBA’s compensation system, analyze our expenditures and checks and balances, as well as assist instituting best practices.”
Plotkin, a veteran executive at the CSBA, said in a statement released by the association that he wanted to “clarify misstatements I have previously made. The CSBA Board of Directors and Executive Committee did not authorize my use of a corporate credit card to obtain cash advances at casinos, and I am sorry to have created that impression. I would also like to apologize for stating that I had taken a 4 percent reduction in my base salary, when I had not. I am sorry if my actions have damaged the reputation of CSBA and the vital work being conducted by the Association. It was certainly not my intent.”
Pugh also noted that the governing board approved an extension to the current policy, which prohibits the use of CSBA corporate credit cards for personal purposes and activities to the executive director.
The announcement of Plotkin’s retirement followed an emergency board meeting on Friday, in the wake of news reports that he allegedly withdrew more than $11,000 in cash using his company credit card at area casinos. The story was first reported by Sacramento television station KCRA Channel 3. Plotkin has since paid back the funds, the station reported.
According to KCRA, Plotkin’s salary also raised concerns. Tax filings showed Plotkin earned $540,395 during the 2007-2008 fiscal year, which included a $175,000 one-time bonus.